Mt 28:1 1Now after the sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the sepulchre.
TJ 31:1 1When dawn broke on the first day of the week after Passover, the three days and nights had passed following which Jmmanuel would live again after his apparent death, as he had foretold.
TJ 31:1 1Und da das Passahfest aber vorbei war und der erste Tag der Woche anbrach, so waren die drei Tage und drei Nächte um, da Jmmanuel sagte, dass er aus dem Halbtode wieder leben werde.
THE PROBLEMS. Regarding Mt 28:1, Beare remarked (p. 542) that the specification of the time of day is quite awkward, and this was more clear from the Greek translation: "Late on the sabbath, as it was dawning towards the first day of the week..." Was it late or early in the day? Was it still on the Sabbath, or was it the next day? The question remains after keeping in mind that the Jewish day began at sundown, whence "late on the sabbath" is just before sundown on Saturday.
Also, why is one of the two Mary's identified only as "the other Mary?" This was done also at Mt 27:61. Going back further, one finds the implication that this "other Mary" was the mother of James and Joseph (Mt 27:55). Hence she may have been Jesus' mother Mary, since the names of two of his brothers were James and Joseph (Mt 13:55). However, this is not at all clear. It should be an essential part of the story to clearly identify both of the two key witnesses to the angel and the empty tomb.
SOLUTION. With the TJ verse, the timing is not in question, as the German word involved, "anbrach," means "dawned." And we see that its point had nothing to do with when the two Mary's arrived. Evidently the compiler felt he had to revise this verse, as the altered timing of the crucifixion he had inserted at Mt 27:62 (the day before the day after the day of Preparation, i.e., Friday, the day before the sabbath), could cause the discerning reader or listener to conclude that Jesus had been in the tomb for only two days and nights, if attention were drawn to the matter. So he made a substitution for the TJ's "three days and nights" sentence, and mentioned the two Mary's to supply some substance. In this connection, it is noteworthy that he did not even refer to the time spent in the tomb as verifying Jesus' prophecy. At the same time, we see that the true author, Judas, wanted to record for posterity that another of Jmmanuel's prophecies had come true.
In TJ 31:7 the identity of the two Mary's is not in question, indicating that Matthew's "other Mary" was indeed Mary the mother of Jmmanuel. She is mentioned first in order, as would be expected, and Mary Magdalene second. We may surmise that the writer of Matthew omitted explicit mention of Mary as mother of Jesus because she was witness to Jmmanuel having survived the crucifixion, and because she later accompanied the living Jmmanuel and two others on their long treks in Anatolia and thence eastward to the land of India. This the writer of Matthew could learn from reading further into the TJ, if it was not already a whispered tradition. Thus she may have been held in disgrace for this, and the omission of her name at this point in the gospel strongly suggests this is how the compiler felt. See also the similar treatment the compiler gave to:
These problems with Mt 28:1 indicate a lack of historical accuracy, which suggests that redaction was involved. The TJ verse on the other hand exhibits no such problem, is fully consistent with its previous text, and allows us to deduce why the writer of Matthew made the changes he apparently did, and how that led to the problems. Concerning the TJ-hoax hypothesis, then, from just this verse comparison I would at most assign PHoax ≈ 0.3.
Mt 28:2-3 2And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his raiment as white as snow.
TJ 31:2-3 2And behold, a great thundering arose in the air, and a radiant light came from the sky and settled on the earth, not far from the tomb. 3Then a guardian angel stepped forth from the light; his appearance was like lightning and his garment was as white as snow.
TJ 31:2-3 2Und siehe, ein grosser Donner erhob sich in der Luft und vom Himmel kam ein strahlendes Licht und setzte unweit des Grabes auf die Erde. 3Dann aber trat hervor aus dem Lichte ein Wächterengel, und seine Erscheinung war wie der Blitz und sein Kleid weiss wie Schnee.
THE PROBLEMS. If Matthew is to be taken seriously here, one must ask what connection there could be between an earthquake and the arrival of an angel: how had the angel approached? The earlier visitations by an angel in Matthew were in dreams, four times to Joseph and once to the magi; why does this angel come in person? Would not a great earthquake itself have rolled away the stone? It might then be inferred that the great earthquake is a cover story invented to avoid reporting more of what really happened.
And is it realistic, if the angel were an alien being as today's knowledge would require, that the angel would attend to rolling away the stone before attending to the guards who would be expected to oppose this action?
SOLUTION. The TJ account reads very much like a close-up UFO and alien sighting, although in only a small fraction of such reports does the UFO make a loud noise.
An earthquake cover-up story would come naturally to a writer with Jewish background as a scribe and Pharisee. He would be familiar with Old Testament verses, such as this one in Isaiah:
Is 29:6 you will be visited by the LORD of hosts with thunder and with earthquake and great noise
which associates great noise with earthquakes, and earthquakes in turn with the coming of Yahweh (in this case, one of Yahweh's heavenly hosts). This earthquake then is the invention of the compiler of Matthew rather than being any aftershock of the earthquake in TJ 30:46 and Mt 27:51. However, the compiler of Matthew was not averse towards angels, judging from his mention of them in Mt 1-2 and elsewhere, and so he faithfully reproduced the last half of TJ 31:3. In this instance, he could not put the angel into a dream, for the real-life angel, if not needed to roll away the stone, was needed to frighten the guards almost to death so that the two Mary's could check out the tomb.
We shall see from TJ 31:7 that only after he had dispensed with the guards did the angel roll away the stone, which he did not sit upon. It could be that the writer of Matthew moved the rolling away of the stone forward in his story, and had the angel sit upon it, so as to more forcefully express the Christian feeling of "fait accompli!" The thought that the angel would need to assure his own safety first of all would not enter the writer's head, as he regarded angels as possessing omnipotent divine power, as in Mt 26:53.
The reality of the TJ's description of events, for those who have explored the UFO phenomenon, contrasts with the more mythical nature of Matthew's description in Mt 28:2. If one is genuine and the other a hoax, it is the TJ that has to be favored here. PHoax ≈ 0.35.
Mt 28:4 4And for fear of him [the angel] the guards trembled and became like dead men.
TJ 31:4-7 4And he [the guardian angel] went to the tomb, and the soldiers, full of fear, moved out of his way. 5He lifted his hand, and from it bright lightning sprang forth and struck the soldiers, one after the other. 6And they fell to the ground and did not stir for a long time. 7Then the guardian angel stepped up to the tomb, rolled the stone away from the door, and said to Maria, the mother of Jmmanuel, and to Maria Magdalena, who were both there:
TJ 31:4-7 4Und er ging zum Grabe und vor ihm wichen weg die Kriegsknechte voller Furcht. 5Er aber hob die Hand und aus ihr hervor ging ein heller Blitz und traf die Kriegsknechte, einen nach dem andern. 6Und sie fielen zur Erde und rührten sich nicht für lange Zeit. 7Alsdann trat der Wächterengel zum Grabe und wälzte den Stein von der Türe und sprach zu Maria, der Mutter Jmmanuels, und zu Maria Magdalena, die beide da waren:
THE PROBLEM. The behavior described in Matthew is extremely bizarre for soldiers—not the fearing of a radiant angel, but the lying down spontaneously as if dead. Obviously, something is not being reported here that would explain this unheard-of behavior. And why wouldn't the two Mary's have become equally frightened and faint?
SOLUTION. The TJ account supplies a sound reason why the soldiers temporarily "became like dead men." There are similar accounts in the UFO literature. The two Mary's were not treated the way the soldiers were; moreover, they were very soon told not to be afraid. Further, mother Mary had experienced an encounter with an alien (angel) shortly after Jmmanuel's birth, and thus would have been less traumatized by this encounter. PHoax ≈ 0.25.
The writers of Mark and Luke were evidently more reluctant to allow an angel to interfere into the worldly affairs of men, so they improved upon Matthew by doing away with the posting of the guards, and replaced the angel with one or two men, respectively.
Mt 28:6 6"He [Jesus] is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay."
TJ 31:9 9"He is not here, for he is alive just as he said he would be. Come here and behold the place where he has lain."
TJ 31:9 9«Er ist aber nicht hier, denn er lebet, wie er gesagt hat; kommet her und sehet die Stätte, da er gelegen hat.»
THE PROBLEM. Jesus had supposedly died on the cross and then been resurrected. The angel thus should have said, in effect, "His body is not here, for it has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where his corpse lay." If, to avoid this objection, it should be assumed that he had been resurrected as soon as he had been placed inside the tomb, then the problem would arise that there was no reason why a resurrected Jesus would need to lie inside a tomb for two or three days and nights.
SOLUTION. Here the compiler of Matthew followed a certain portion of the TJ's language too closely, thus causing the problem, which may be placed in the category of "Matthean fatigue." That is, the writer of Matthew had earlier altered Jmmanuel's survival into death, and then forgot to alter these sentences into ones more compatible with having undergone death. PHoax ≈ 0.4.
The question may arise as to why Mark, which text we have found depends primarily upon Matthew, does not incorporate any of Matthew's resurrection material. (The text of Mk 16:9-19 is pretty well accepted to be a later addition.) The TJ cannot speak directly to this. However, if theological commitment is set aside, one finds that the simplest explanation is the most plausible. The writer of Mark just didn't believe that a dead body could be brought back to life. Consistent with this, we find that in the Greek text of Mk 15:45 Jesus' body is referred to as a corpse, whereas in the parallel Matthean verse (Mt 27:60) the parallel word used is "it," which referred back to "body" rather than to "corpse" (having been based upon the TJ, which uses the word for "body" and not "corpse"). Also, we may notice that in Mark's instructions to the disciples (Mk 6:7-13), there is no mention of "raise the dead," as in Matthew's parallel (Mt 10:8). Additionally, in Mk 5:23 Jairus describes his daughter as being at the point of death, before she was cured, whereas in Mt 9:18 he tells Jesus/Jmmanuel that his daughter had died. These appear to be significant clues concerning the theology, or lack of it, of the writer of Mark.
Mt 28:7 7"Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you."
TJ 31:10-11 10"Go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from apparent death. 11Also tell them: He will walk before you to Galilee, and there you will see him. Behold, I have told you."
TJ 31:10-11 10«Gehet eilends hin und saget es seinen Jüngern, dass er wiedererstanden sei aus dem Halbtode. 11Und saget ihnen: Er wird vor euch hergehen nach Galiläa, da werdet ihr ihn sehen; sehet, ich habe es euch gesagt.»
TJ 31:21 21Maria and Maria Magdalene, however, left and did as they had been instructed by the guardian angel.
TJ 31:21 21Maria und Maria Magdalena aber gingen hin, so sie taten, wie ihnen vom Wächterengel befohlen war.
THE PROBLEMS. Here, Beare (p. 542) pointed out the very minor problem that nowhere in Matthew are the two women at the tomb mentioned as actually having delivering the angel's message to the disciples, as instructed. Yet the disciples did receive the message, judging from later verses in Matthew.
And one must wonder why a resurrected person would need to walk from one place to another when he should simply be able to appear suddenly wherever and whenever he pleased (as in Lk 24:36 and Jn 20:19,26).
In addition, why are the two Mary's instructed to tell the disciples about the resurrection, and where they will see him, and by implication not to tell others? Why doesn't the resurrected Jesus show himself to all of Jerusalem as proof of his having risen from the grave? A resurrected body would not have to fear death, but could show itself fearlessly to all in order to promote the good news.
SOLUTION. The only essential difference between TJ 31:10-11 and Mt 28:7 is the near-death in the TJ, which the compiler had to omit. TJ 31:21, which has no Matthean cognate, is included above to indicate that in the TJ the "angel's" message was indeed delivered. Would a literary hoaxer have been able to anticipate such a seemingly petty criticism from Beare?
The writer of Matthew evidently retained a bit too much from TJ verses here (and in Mt 26:35-36, too), in implying that the resurrected Jesus would have to walk all the way from Jerusalem to Galilee, just like a live person would. This may also be called a problem of "Matthean fatigue," in that the writer of Matthew had earlier altered his source in writing that Jesus had died, but then he forgot to alter it again here for consistency, since a resurrected body should be capable of showing itself to anyone anywhere, at any time, and need not laboriously walk or travel by mule from Jerusalem to Galilee. However, the TJ supplies no details on how uncomfortable it may have been for Jmmanuel to walk or travel that distance.
In the TJ account, it is perfectly obvious why the two Mary's were instructed to tell only the disciples about what had transpired. Jmmanuel would need to stay under cover for as long as he remained in the vicinity of Jerusalem and even Palestine and a still wider area, so that he would not be recognized and hauled back to Jerusalem for a second crucifixion, which would then guarantee his early death.
Subsequent verses in the TJ, having partial New Testament cognates in the Gospel of John but not in Matthew, describe how Peter and another disciple, after they were informed by the two Mary's, went to the tomb, looked around and saw some linen cloths there (Jn 20:5-7; see also Lk 24:12). Interestingly, another translation for the Greek word involved there (οθονια) is "bandages" (plural), which is just as valid a translation as is "linen cloths." The TJ indicates that these linens had indeed been bandages.
The historical plausibility of the TJ account contrasts strongly with the lack of any such plausibility in Matthew's resurrection-based account. This plus Matthew's problems suggest PHoax ≈ 0.15.
Mt 28:8 8So they [the two Mary's] departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
TJ 31:16 16Jmmanuel's mother and Maria Magdalena then departed, leaving the tomb.
TJ 31:16 16Die Mutter Jmmanuels aber und Maria Magdalena gingen hin und verliessen das Grab.
THE PROBLEMS. A problem with the Matthean verse is that it seems impossible to be in great joy and at the same time fearful. Fear drives out joy, and vice versa. It might be argued that first there was the fear, and then the joy, and that the verse merely failed to arrange them properly in time. However, their fear should have been commented upon two or three verses earlier, before the angel told them not to be afraid. Hence this verse is properly suspect of being a redaction of a source text.
A second, minor problem is that there is no mention in Matthew of whether, or by what means, the angel departed. The angel is just left there, to wander around or whatever. His departure should have occurred between verses Mt 28:7 and 8.
SOLUTION. The TJ verse is barely a cognate of the Matthean verse, having only two words in common between the German versions of each. It does not suffer from the first criticism, while leaving the reader uncertain as to how the two Mary's felt. From an earlier omitted TJ verse, however, one reads that Mary questioned the angel as to how it could be that Jmmanuel was alive when they all (except Joseph of Arimathea) had thought he died. So her joy must have been tempered by doubts, while her initial fear was not so overwhelming to have left her speechless. The latter could have been due not only to the angel's calming "Do not be afraid," but also due to she and her husband having been exposed firsthand to "angels" years before, during Jmmanuel's birth. PHoax ≈ 0.4.
Concerning the angel's departure, the TJ gives the following description:
TJ 31:15 15And the guardian angel went to the bright light and disappeared into it. Soon a great thundering came forth from it again, and it rose up into the air, shooting straight into the sky.
TJ 31:15 15Und der Wächterengel ging hin zu dem strahlenden Licht und verschwand darin; und alsbald ging daraus hervor wieder ein grosser Donner und es hob sich in die Luft und schoss in den Himmel.
One should not assume here that the angel's UFO utilized rocket power in ascending into the sky. UFOs that make loud noises usually don't exhibit flaming exhaust underneath. The loud noise itself may just be an ET add-on for effect.
Lk 24:12 12But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home wondering at what had happened.
Jn 20:2-10 2So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." 3Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb. 4They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; 5and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6Then Simon Peter came, following him, and he went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, 7and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. 10Then the disciples went back to their homes.
TJ 31:27-31 27So they [mother Mary and Mary Magdalene] departed, and they met Petrus and another disciple, telling them what had taken place. 28Petrus and the other disciple went to the tomb, with the other disciple arriving there first. 29And he looked into the tomb and saw the linen bandages laying neatly on the ground, but he did not enter. 30Then Petrus arrived, went into the tomb and found everything just as the other disciple had said. 31The bandages had been carefully folded and placed on the ground. The sweat cloth, which had covered Jmmanuel's head, had been placed on a particular spot, together with the salves and herbs and clay figurines of peculiar appearance, the likes of which he had never seen before. Thus they were foreign to him.
TJ 31:27-31 27Und sie gingen hin und trafen Petrus und einen andern Jünger und berichteten, was war geschehen. 28Petrus aber und der andere Jünger gingen hinaus zum Grabe, und der andere Jünger war zuerst am Grabe. 29Und er schaute hinein und sah die leinenen Binden gelegt fein säuberlich am Boden und ging nicht hinein in das Grab. 30Aber also kam Petrus und ging in das Grab hinein und fand alles wie der andere. 31Die Binden waren fein säuberlich gewickelt und geleget auf den Boden, und das Schweisstuch, das Jmmanuel geleget war um das Haupt, und Salben und Heilkräuter, die alle geleget waren an einen besonderen Ort, zusammen mit tönernen Figuren von eigenartigem Aussehen, wie er sie noch nie gesehen und so sie ihm fremd waren.
THE PROBLEMS. The verse in Luke is relegated to a footnote in many Bibles, as it is omitted from some of the earlier manuscripts. It is a terse account in comparison with the account in John. But why in John is there mention of linen cloths, plural? These are in addition to the cloth that had been on Jesus' head. There had only been "a linen shroud" mentioned earlier (in Lk 23:53).
And why does "the other disciple" suddenly appear in the Gospel of John account, as if the reader should already know that just one other disciple would be involved?
Also, why is this other disciple not named? The answer might be that it was out of self-modesty, if the writer of that Gospel was the disciple John, who in that gospel is apparently the one Jesus loved. However most NT scholars doubt that any of the Gospels were written by their namesakes.
SOLUTION AND DISCUSSION. Elsewhere in the TJ clues are also apparent that the writers of Luke and of John had had access to the Talmud of Jmmanuel, probably not too long after the writer of Matthew had written his gospel. They had apparently made sparing use of the TJ mainly to add thoughts that the writer of Matthew had omitted, which they could include upon editing them into acceptability. Hence verses from those Gospels are displayed above along with the TJ source. We can see how understandable it is that the writer of Matthew omitted these TJ verses, since they support Jmmanuel's survival of the crucifixiona risen resurrected body would have no need to fold up linen bandages or cloths in which he had been wrapped; and the clay figurines would have made no sense. The Greek word for "cloths" also means "bandages."
With the TJ account, it is clear that the linen cloths had been the bandages with which Jmmanuel's attendants from India, and Joseph of Arimathea, had wrapped him after administering to him inside the tomb. More than one cloth bandage had obviously been needed to attend to the wounds on the hands, feet and side. The Hindu healers and/or Joseph evidently folded up the bandages and the head cloth upon helping Jmmanuel get dressed and before exiting the tomb.
In the TJ, the "other" disciple is first introduced as "another" disciple. The writer of John had slipped up in forgetting that though the presence of this other disciple was familiar to him, from having read through the TJ and especially this section of the TJ, and/or from private discussions with others who had read the TJ, he had not yet introduced the "other" person to the reader. He is not named in John because he had not been named in the TJ. Why was this? Considering that Judas did write the TJ, and so had apparently been a witness to this empty-tomb event with the linen bandages, at which event Jmmanuel had not been present, it must have been Judas who omitted his own name out of modesty. It would have been quite boastful of him to say, "I (Judas) ran to the tomb and arrived there first, and had the first look inside. I beat Peter!"
Unlike the account in John, the TJ account does not bother to say that the disciples went home afterwards. And they might not have, since they had fled earlier, on the night before the crucifixion, according to TJ 28:44 and Mt 26:56, and even Peter had been afraid to admit he was one of the Twelve.
Regarding the peculiar clay figurines, which were foreign to Peter and Judas, they must have been left behind by the Hindu attendants who healed Jmmanuel. The figurines may have been used during prayers of Hindu worship by the attendants during the three days and nights. These figurines might have been retained by Judas and later given to Jmmanuel, and carried with them on their later travels to India. Still later, in this scenario after Jmmanuel's death, his elder son packaged them along with the original TJ rolls, which packet he carried back to Jerusalem and buried in Joseph's tomb, not to be discovered until 1963 by Meier and Rashid. Meier still retains one such clay figurine.
Mt 28:9-10 9And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Hail!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."
TJ [No cognate]
THE PROBLEM. The first Matthean verse would indicate that the two Mary's saw Jesus in the vicinity of the tomb or in Jerusalem, in contradiction to the angel who had just told them, "He is not here," and that he wouldn't be seen until in Galilee or on the road there. This contradiction has been pointed out by Naland.
On the latter verse, Beare (p. 542) observed that the resurrected Jesus is merely repeating what the angel had already said. Thus, either Jesus or the angel need not have said it, causing it to become suspect of being a redaction.
Both Mt 28:9 and 10 are therefore widely believed by scholars to be either an editorial composition by Matthew's compiler or a later insertion.
SOLUTION. The TJ agrees with the scholars' conclusions here, there being no TJ cognate to either of these two verses. PHoax ≈ 0.4.
Mt 28:11-15 11While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place. 12And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sum of money to the soldiers 13and said, "Tell people, 'His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.' 14And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble." 15So they took the money and did as they were directed; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
TJ 31:17-20 17The soldiers, however, recovered from their paralysis and were greatly astonished. So they went into the city to spread the news of what had happened. 18And secretly they met with the chief priests and elders of the council to decide what to tell the people. 19The chief priests and elders gave sufficient money to the soldiers and said, "Tell the people his disciples came at night while we were sleeping and stole his body." 20And the soldiers took the money and did as they had been instructed.
TJ 31:17-20 17Die Kriegsknechte aber fielen aus ihrer Starre und sie wunderten sich sehr, so sie hingingen in die Stadt und die Kunde verbreiteten von dem, was geschehen war. 18Und sie kamen zusammen mit den Hohenpriestern und Ältesten des Rates und hielten eine geheime Rede, was sie dem Volke sagen sollten. 19Und die Hohenpriester und Ältesten gaben den Kriegsknechten Geld genug und sprachen: «Saget dem Volke, seine Jünger kamen des Nachts, so wir schliefen, und stahlen seinen Leichnam.» 20Und die Kriegsknechte nahmen das Geld und taten, wie sie gewiesen waren.
THE PROBLEMS. This story of the bribing of the guard at the tomb is much doubted by Beare (p. 543) and others because the soldiers would normally be expected to report to one of their own officers, or possibly to the governor, Pontius Pilate, and not to a priest. Its clause in Mt 28:14, "And if this comes to the governor's ears," received an unfavorable review by Beare (p. 543). By his analysis, Matthew is incorrect in stating that the chief priests had so much influence over Pilate that they could convince him to overlook such a serious breach of duty as falling asleep at the post. In Mt 28:15 its last phrase, "to this day," gives indication of being written decades after Jesus' ministry, just as we noted in Mt 27:8.
A minor criticism of Mt 28:11 advanced by Thomas Sheehan is that the guards could not have reported all that had taken place if they had been like dead men then.
SOLUTION. With the soldiers having been stunned into unconsciousness or immobility by the angel or ET, this experience would have been so terrifying and unexplained that it is not at all surprising that the guards went to the chief priests in search of an explanation of the supernatural rather than face the likely incredulity of their own superiors.
Sheehan's objection does not apply to the TJ, because the guards who "talked" just told what they knew had happened to them, not all that had happened as stated in Matthew. However, this difference in wording is so slight that it could be an inadvertent alteration occurring during translation rather than a purposeful redaction by the compiler.
The TJ, having no cognate to Mt 28:14, is free of Beare's logical objection to the chief priests' statement that they would be able to influence Pilate if necessary—a Matthean insertion. The news must have reached Pilate's ears, and for all we know, the guards involved did get in trouble. A likely reason why the writer of Matthew added this sentence is that he realized Pilate would probably not be satisfied with the guards' explanation, as they could hardly have stayed asleep while disciples rolled the stone away and carried out the body.
Overall, the consensus view scholars hold of this passage is an example of the incorrect conclusions one can come to by assuming the wrong verses to be the redactions, associated with what the compiler edited out as well as what he put in. Thus Beare (p. 543) and other scholars have gone much too far in assuming the whole story to be a fabrication.
It may be noticed that while the TJ has the chief priests and elders saying "...stole his body," Matthew has it "stole him away." While the former is appropriate for the chief priests to have said, it suggests that the writer of Matthew wished to emphasize that Jesus was by then resurrected, and to be thought of as "him" rather than "his body."
It is not likely that a literary hoaxer would be astute enough to recognize and remove Matthew's problems here, yet fail to go along with the scholarly consensus. The fact that the TJ does not suffer from such problems is likely due to its genuineness. PHoax ≈ 0.3.
Mt 28:16 16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.
TJ 31:57-32:1 57And while they [the disciples] were eating and in good spirits, he said to them, "Go to Galilee to such-and-such mountain; there I will join you, because our time together has ended and each of us may go his separate way."
1They went to the mountain to which Jmmanuel had directed them.
TJ 31:57-32:1 57So sie aber assen und frohen Mutes waren, sagte er zu ihnen und sprach: «Gehet hin nach Galiläa zu dem und dem Berg, so ich dort zu euch kommen werde, denn unsere Zeit zusammen ist beendet, und jeder möge gehen seiner Wege.» 1Und sie gingen hin und kamen auf den Berg, dahin sie Jmmanuel beschieden hatte.
THE PROBLEM. Here, Beare (p. 544) noticed a small but important difficulty with Matthew: Jesus had given his disciples instructions to go to Galilee, in verse Mt 28:10, but subsequent instructions to go to some specific mountain are missing.
SOLUTION. The verse of TJ 31:57, of which Jn 21:12-13 is a faint cognate, avoids this criticism. It appears that the compiler of Matthew did not wish to make use of this text, with its episode of the great catch of fish at the Sea of Galilee followed by a fish meal that Jmmanuel ate with his disciples (nor the doubting Thomas episode, which is in the TJ), because it could indicate that Jmmanuel had been alive in his ordinary physical body and had not been resurrected after all. However, the writer of John did make use of both stories in his gospel, indicating there were differing opinions among the evangelists as to when to omit an unacceptable passage from the TJ and when to retain it upon editing it into sanctionable verse. In altering this text, then, the compiler of Matthew omitted TJ 31:57 because in it Jmmanuel again talks to his disciples as if he had never died. Thus, the mountain meeting place became edited out, causing the inconsistency.
However, the TJ's author, Judas, apparently did not remember the name of the mountain or hill when writing the TJ text years later, but remembered only that it was in Galilee, and that they had all known where the place was at the time. So what he most likely wrote, which was translated into "zu dem und dem" in the above German, was "dinah vedinah," which is the Aramaic expression for our "such and such" as used as a demonstrative adjective, and which most literally means "this and this." If a literary hoaxer had somehow been astute enough to realize that a verse like TJ 31:57 was needed, he would in all likelihood have supplied or invented some specific name for the mountain. PHoax ≈ 0.3.
We also notice that the TJ just refers to "the disciples" while Matthew refers to "the eleven disciples." This is further editorial action on the part of the writer of Matthew that one can point to, upon realizing the truth to the TJ's solution to Matthean problems involving Judas at and subsequent to the last supper. The writer of Matthew did not slip up here and refer to "all the disciples" by mistake, as he had in Mt 26:35-36, because it was more obvious at this point that he should not refer to "the twelve," having already dispensed with Judas Iscariot. However, in 1 Cor 15:5 Paul did refer to "the twelve," likely indicating either that he had known better than to believe the rumor that it was the disciple Judas Iscariot who had committed suicide, or indicating that the rumor had not yet in his time become an established tradition except within a few synagogues and church meeting places.
In TJ 31:57, its "in good spirits" comes from the German "frohen Mutes," which also means "good cheer." When referring to the individual human spirit the TJ instead uses the German word "Geist."
Mt 28:17 17And when they saw him they [the eleven disciples] worshiped him; but some doubted.
TJ 32:2 2When they had gathered there, he said to them, "Behold, I will speak to you one last time; then I will leave and never return."
TJ 32:2 2So sie aber versammelt waren, redete er mit ihnen und sprach: «Sehet, ein letztes Mal werde ich zu euch reden; so ich dann von dannen gehe und niemehr wiederkehre.»
THE PROBLEM. Here, I. P. Ellis logically questions, "Why does Matthew mention 'doubt' in this short narrative? It is not explained.... Did the doubt remain? If it was dispelled, why mention it? It stands incongruously between the disciples' worship of the risen Christ and the great Trinitarian formula which he delivers to them.... Indeed, worship may be seen as the opposite of doubt." Thus, if they all sincerely worshiped him, none doubted him; so therein lies the contradiction. The tentative solution of Ellis was that the writer of Matthew inserted the "but some doubted" clause to emphasize his belief that true discipleship must be firm and unwavering in its faith. Either way, this looks like a Matthean redaction.
SOLUTION. The TJ verse differs from the Matthean verse too much to be called a cognate strictly, but the preceding verses of both texts indicate the connection between the two. The Matthean criticism is seen not to apply to the TJ verse. The TJ suggests a different reason for Matthew's "but some doubted" clause. A few of the compiler's close associates whom he may have allowed to read the TJ likely acquired some doubts about the resurrection versus the living Jesus, perhaps causing the writer to add the clause so as to imply the same doubt on the part of the disciples. PHoax ≈ 0.35.
Mt 28:18-20 18And Jesus came and said to them [the disciples], "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age."
TJ 32:46-48 46"But you, go therefore and prepare the way for my teachings and make all peoples their disciples. 47However, beware of erroneous teachings, which you may allow to arise because of your lack of judgment, for some of you are inclined that way. 48Teach them to follow everything I have commanded you, so you do not falsify my teachings."
TJ 32:46-48 46«Ihr aber, gehet darum hin und seiet die Wegbereiter meiner Lehre und machet zu ihrer Jünger alle Völker. 47Hütet euch aber vor irren Lehren, die ihr in eurem Unverstande könnt lassen aufkommen, so einige unter euch dazu neigen. 48Lehret zu halten alles was ich euch befohlen habe, so ihr meine Lehre nicht verfälschet.»
THE PROBLEMS. Concerning Mt 28:18, Beare (p. 544) commented upon the fact that nowhere in the Old Testament prophecies was a future Messiah promised any kind of authority at all in heaven. He thus doubted the genuineness of that verse, which extends Jesus' sovereignty to all of existence and heaven, too.
Regarding the Trinitarian-like formula in Mt 28:19, Beare (p. 545) noted that its first voicing would not have come until some years or decades after Jesus' ministry. Thus it is an anachronism not spoken by the historical Jesus.
In the last Matthean verse, there is no explanation by Jesus of what he means in saying he is always with his disciples—is he with them in their lifetimes, or after their deaths, or what? This verse further conflicts with the earlier Matthean statement (Mt 24:30) that the Son of man (Jesus Christ) would appear at the end of the age; here the converse is stated, that he is here until the end of the age.
Davies and Allison commented here that "What happened subsequently is not narrated." They didn't mean this in any critical sense, but for the scholar who is not theologically committed and can voice some curiosity regarding basic questions, this becomes one. Why is there no further text or narration as to what happened next? Did Jesus ascend, did he vanish before their eyes, did he walk alone down the other side of the mountain until out of sight, or what?
SOLUTION. The TJ has no cognate to Mt 28:18, so that Beare's criticism there (regarding all authority in heaven) does not apply. And it makes no mention of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, as is to be expected if it is genuine. Its call for widespread discipleship is consistent with its earlier verses, since in the TJ, unlike in Matthew, the earlier instructions had been to go out to the Samaritans and the heathen in all parts of the world rather than to remain within Israel. This Matthean inconsistency likely means that this last passage was added to the Gospel of Matthew by a later person, probably the translator of Semitic Matthew into Greek, upon his examining the TJ one last time to see if anything non-heretical had been overlooked that would be appealing to gentiles and that could be utilized in an unobtrusive manner, such as by adding on to the end of the existing gospel. Scholar George Howard has pointed to indirect external evidence suggesting that the Great Commission and the Trinitarian-like formula here were indeed a late addition.
After Mark and Luke came out, in Greek, the translator of Matthew into Greek quite likely was motivated to add some verses (Mt 28:18-20; also Mt 12:17-21) that would be attractive to gentiles and counteract the anti-gentile statements that the writer of Semitic Matthew had inserted. Otherwise, the Gospels of Mark and Luke, with their openness to gentiles, could come to dominate over the Gospel of Matthew in authority and popularity.
Nor does the TJ suffer from the criticisms made against the last Matthean verse, since it has no cognate to "I will be with you always." The latter may also have been added by the translator, who realized that Jesus had not yet come again, as had been hoped, but that the "end of the age" might occur too long into the future for Christians to wait.
Interestingly, the TJ portrays the picture that Jmmanuel knew, through his prophetic powers and ET tutors, that his teachings would be distorted and not widely known in their true form or accepted until after finally being rediscovered at a much later date. Yet, knowing this, he still felt obliged to try to bring Creation's laws and El's teachings to mankind, starting in his own time. In the above TJ passage when admonishing his disciples, he is consistent in making use of this philosophy. There is far too much TJ realism here and corresponding lack of it in Matthew to take the hoax hypothesis seriously. PHoax ≈ 0.15.
The TJ of course does continue on to narrate what happened next, and describes Jmmanuel's various post-crucifixion appearances to his disciples. Of these, there were three that the writer of Matthew omitted before the last appearance to the disciples at the mountain location. At that time he spoke 51 verses of advice, philosophy and prophecy to them, of which Matthew makes use, in redacted form, of only twoTJ 32:46,48 (see above). There follow four more TJ chapters of immense interest. Had the TJ's papyrus rolls discovered in 1963 survived after 1974 to be translated in their entirety, there would have been about three times more text yet than what's in the present Talmud of Jmmanuel, according to Eduard Meier. His estimate is that of the four rolls present upon discovery, only the first one was translated before they all were destroyed.
If the individual pro-hoax probabilities of this chapter are accumulated, one obtains an overall probability of hoax of 7.0 x 10-5.
Acts 1:9 9And when he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.
TJ 32:49-53 49And it came to pass, that while he was speaking to them in this manner, a thundering came from the sky, and a great light descended. 50The light settled on the ground not far from them, and it glittered like metal in the sunlight. 51Jmmanuel spoke no more, but went to the metallic light and entered into it. 52Then, however, a haze arose all around it. Once again a thundering began and the light ascended back into the sky. 53And the disciples returned to Jerusalem in secret and made known the events among their own kind.
TJ 32:49-53 49Und es geschah, als er so zu ihnen redete, dass ein Donner kam vom Himmel und ein grosses Licht, das niederfiel. 50Unweit von ihnen setzte das Licht auf die Erde und glitzerte metallen im Lichte der Sonne. 51Jmmanuel aber sprach nicht mehr und ging von dannen zu dem metallenen Licht, und er trat hinein in das metallene Licht. 52Es geschah aber so, dass sich nun rundherum ein Nebel erhob und abermals ein Donner anhob und das Licht sich wieder in den Himmel erhob. 53Die Jünger aber kehrten wieder zurück nach Jerusalem heimlich und verkündeten das Geschehen unter ihresgleichen.
THE PROBLEM. Here we have departed from Matthew, and for the sake of completeness added a verse from Acts. Its problem, of course, is that a cloud cannot lift someone up and cart them away.
SOLUTION. The vehicle that conveyed Jmmanuel away (to Damascus, it turns out in the next TJ verse) was likely the same UFO that had appeared at the empty tomb. The haze that enveloped it as it took off may have been what suggested to the writer of Luke/Acts to use the word "cloud." Additionally, the concept of the "cloud of the LORD" is well known from verses in Exodus and other chapters of the Old Testament to have been a means by which God traveled around. In many UFO accounts the witnesses report a shimmering, fuzzy, hazy, halo-like, smoky or cloudy appearance around the UFO's perimeter as it hovers or moves.
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1. UFO reports describing a loud, thundering noise accompanying a UFO apparently occur in about 1-3% of cases. One example, in D. Scott Rogo's Alien Abductions (New York: New American Library, 1980, pp. 140-141), reads, "And all of a sudden out of the sky there came a big light, lit up the trees and the road. Then there was a rumble. It was so loud I thought it was lightning or thunder." Then follows the witness's account of her abduction, which was no weather phenomenon. A second such account is in the well known Lonnie Zamora case, e.g., see UFO FBI Connection by Bruce Maccabee (St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2000), pp. 267-275, or an online account. A third report, from a summary of the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle, came from Seaford, Delaware, 8:15 p.m. on Feb. 26, 1988: Two adult ladies sighted a circular object bigger than an airliner. The UFO stopped over the witnesses for several seconds at an altitude of about 300 feet. The object gave off a 'thundering sound.' Since its shape was circular it could not have been a helicopter. Two other reports, in which the departing UFO made a thunderous roar and the sound of a thunderclap, respectively, are described in Jenny Randles's The UFO Conspiracy (London: Javelin Books, 1988, pp. 55, 137). Or search Google using key words: "UFO 'loud noise'".
2. Good, Timothy, Above Top Secret (New York: William Morrow, 1988), p. 133. Also, a Santa Fe, Argentina case in which (as translated): "Sheriff Legstra said that a woman told him that 'the entity pointed at her with its finger and left her paralyzed'."
3. Ahmad, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam, Jesus in India (Islamabad, U.K.: Islam International Publications Ltd., 1995; reprint of the 1905 book), p. 49.
4. Naland, John K., "The first Easter," Free Inquiry 8 (Spring, 1988), pp. 10-20; see p. 14.
5. Neirynck, Frans, "John and the Synoptics: the empty tomb stories," NTS 30 (1984), pp. 161-187; see p. 166.
6. As noted previously, it is also doubted because scholars assume that Mt 27:62 is genuine, which implies that no guard would have been set on a Sabbath.
7. Kingsbury, Jack Dean, "Reflections on the 'reader' of Matthew's gospel," NTS 34 (1988), pp. 422-460; see p. 456.
8. Sheehan, Thomas, The First Coming (New York: Random House, 1986), p. 151.
9. Even with modern UFO sightings, most citizens know the futility of reporting them to their employer, or to the police, the Air Force, or NASA. Usually, only a close family member or friend is entrusted to the news, or sometimes the minister of the church to which the witness may belong.
10. I thank Bruce Chilton for informing me of the common Aramaic phrase that means "such-and-such."
11. Ellis, I. P., "But some doubted," NTS 14 (1968), pp. 574-580; see pp. 575, 580.
12. Davies and Allison, Critical Commentary, vol. 3, p. 686.
13. Howard, George, "A note on the short ending of Matthew," Harvard Theol. Review 81 (1988), pp. 117-120; see p. 119.
14. See, for example, Good, Beyond Top Secret, pp. 167, 175, 210, 213, 238-239, 244-245, 275. Or search Google using key words "UFO" and "halo around it", or the words: UFO" "shimmering", "UFO" "enveloped in cloud", or "UFO" and "enveloped in mist".